Monday, August 31, 2009

augmented fantasy

How involving would it be for the audience (and the creators) if the characters of a TV series were on Twitter. Tweeting as if they were real people, about their thoughts, events - some part of the main plot, some more to add to their characterizations.

The audience could reply to their tweets, and the characters would reply back. And have a conversation with the real world.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

something missing

While I really like Quentin Tarantino's artistry and bent of imagination, I did not like Inglourious Basterds quite as much as his other films.

It's the small things in the plot that didn't go down well with me. It seems as if he wasn't quite sure how real or how fantastic to make his story and ended up with a little bit of both but neither. Not to mention that this mangling was not of individual characters, but of representations of entire political entities.

This article here - - explains a little of that aftertaste I speak of.

To quote from the article a British soldier around the time of the Allied Invasion: ' “If you saw a dead German, you passed him and you didn’t laugh.” '

Other than that aftertaste, the film, by itself, is thoroughly enjoyable, being very classic Tarantino (although some scenes seemed to be directly adapted from Kill Bill).

Update: Yet another interesting article: The tragedy of Tarantino.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

the blue umbrella

A quaint story by Ruskin Bond - I remember reading it in school in class 3 or 4. I even remember it was where I first learnt the word ravine. Funny how these tiny memories remain.

The film multiplies the magic of the story with Vishal Bharadwaj's genius. I love how he has used colour, and his music is brilliant (he composed his own). What is truly wonderful is how he manages to extract the ras* of a culture with a thousand years of history and portray it, so lifelike and along with all the eccentricities, on the screen.

Here's a trailer:

Do watch the movie if you get a chance.
It's also available on Netflix streaming.

*ras: hindi; pronounced as the first syllable in "rustic"; the closest english equivalent might be "essence", but the word definitely encapsulates something more that I'm not able to put my finger on. If you've got a better explanation, please do leave a comment.

Monday, August 10, 2009

asterix in hindi

My Monday morning was brightened up with a cousin telling me of Asterix comics translated into hindi. If you know hindi, check out how they've translated the names:

Dogmatix...........Kutta Bhaunkix
Vitalstatistix........Mukhiya Motumallix
Impedimenta.......Pyaari Sirdarda
Cacofonix..........Gavaiya Besurix
Getafix.............Hakeem Vaidix

(Thank you, Nidhi

Sunday, August 9, 2009

manner of speaking

I came across this talk by Seth Godin at the 2008 Business of Software conference.

Besides the great content and insights that Seth Godin always puts out, there are two things that I found incredible.

The first is his style of delivering the content. There was a lot of impact to the way he speaks, taking up the whole stage, moving about, waving his hands, etc. It conveys a lot of energy and energizes the audience. He also moves from one point to another quickly, making it worth his time and yours. It also is done on the assumption that the audience is smart, and can keep up with him. It keep the audience one their toes, alert and thinking all the time.

The second thing nearly blew me away. It came out when at the end he talked about some ideas he was working on at the time, yet to be released. He asked the audience to not take photographs or blog about it. And jumped into telling them about his new idea, establishing a new level of trust. The amount of commitment he shows to his audience is fascinating: you have come to hear me talk, and I am going to do everything I can to make it worth your while.

Watch it: (feedreaders may have to click here)


Once in a while I click through from my feed reader to the webpage of the article I find is so much content there in the comments section that I miss out on.

And when you look at it, it is not uncommon to find a lot of user feedback there. Opinions given freely, for the sake of making your voice heard - it is natural. More people leave feedback on various blogs than on the feedback form for a product.

If only there were a way to extract all this information from there. The importance of listening to customers or potential customers cannot be understated.

At the very least, feed readers should have a way of integrating comments with the post.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

meta blogging

@achitnis asked a simple question the other day on Twitter, and it occured to me that the only reason I haven't been blogging that I haven't had time to research and formulate my thoughts in a structured manner. Which may be a reasonable excuse. Or not.

So I've decided to blog even unbaked ideas, half-thought thoughts and at least the start the conversation. Leave me a comment or tweet back or grab me on IM or over coffee if you think the conversation is interesting and should be continued.

I'm going to think of a way to make my blog more wiki-like, so I can keep updating my posts and building upon them.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

new music

Where do you find new music?
New not as in recently released, but new as in never heard before by you.

Odds are pretty high that you heard it in a friend's car or on their iPod, at a party or a YouTube link someone sent you.

Music is inherently social.
We like to enjoy music in company. And endorse our enjoyment by singing along, dancing to it, or even just tapping our feet. We pick up music when see other people enjoying the music.

Music on the web (and on our computers) sorely needs that social aspect.

Actually, there is one thing: some chat applications have a feature that changes your status to the title of music playing currently on your computer.